Hearing loss depicted as a problem that compounds by showing several cutout men toppled over on one man.

Are you taken aback to learn that hearing loss is more than just your ears? Ears are the method of hearing, so the damage done to them because of aging, injury or illness is why someone can not hear, but did you know there’s more to it than the loss of a person’s hearing bleeds into many other aspects of their life. It’s a dramatic change for somebody who has always been able to hear. Take some ways that hearing loss has a profound effect on more than just the ears.

Earning Potential

A 2006 report released by the Australian company Access Economics states there is a connection between earning potential and hearing. They discovered that an individual with hearing loss could possibly make about 25 percent less than those that do hear, but why?

There are a lot of things that could impact earnings. Somebody who works without any hearing assistance device such as a hearing aid may miss out on serious information. They may appear for a company meeting at 4 when it was actually at 2 pm, for instance. Employers tend to value those with shrewd attention to detail, and that’s a challenge when you can not hear the specifics.

Working environments can be noisy and chaotic, too. A individual with hearing loss can quickly become confused with all that noise around them. They will struggle to speak on the phone, to listen to clients and to understand what colleagues are saying because in a loud environment the desktop sounds like clicking keyboards or an air conditioner motor become pronounced.

Relationships

Some of the same problems at work become an issue at home. Hearing loss has the potential to cause conflict, particularly when the person with the problem continues to deny it. Little things such as saying “what” a lot during conversations and turning the TV up too loud irritate friends, family members, and spouses.

They may attempt to intervene and encourage this individual to recognize their hearing loss, and that leads to friction, as well. It’s extremely common for someone with hearing loss to isolate themselves and refuse to go out and spend time with other people. They struggle to keep up with conversations, so that they so what the can to avoid them.

Mental Health Concerns

The issues at work and home take a toll on mental health over time. A 2014 study conducted by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders found a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and depression. Their study indicates an increased risk of depression, especially among girls and individuals under the age of 70. Their risk of depression goes from 5 percent to approximately 11 percent with hearing loss.

A second study by the Senior Research Group indicates that the risk of mental health problems including depression, anxiety and paranoia goes up when a individual with hearing loss does not use hearing aids. The study participants who did not wear hearing aids reported everything from feelings of sadness to sudden fits of anger more frequently than those who did wear them.

Safety Issues

Security is always a concern for the hearing impaired. Most security systems, whether it’s a smoke or carbon monoxide detector or a perimeter alarm, work based on noise. They exude a high-frequency noise when there is a danger. Even people with minor hearing loss can have difficulty hearing high pitched tones.

Personal security becomes an issue when a person with hearing loss crosses the road or drives a car, too. Sound serves to signal problems like a car coming down the street or a horn honking.

Cognitive Functioning

Medical science has made a link between cognitive decline and hearing loss. It’s not clear why people with hearing loss have a higher risk of dementia. The current theory is that the brain struggles to hear and to compensate, it robs other vital functions like short-term memory.

A 2011 study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine discovered that even a person with minor hearing loss is twice as likely to develop dementia. Moderate hearing loss increases the risk by three times and an individual with severe hearing impairment is five times more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Hearing health is just 1 factor in memory loss conditions, but it’s an important one.

When a person has hearing loss, it is true there is probably something wrong with their ears, but that’s just where it starts. The fantastic news is that getting help in the form of hearing aids and other treatment choices lowers the risk of mental health issues, dementia and the different issues related to hearing decline.

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